Place Your Students on the Direct Path to College- and Career-Readiness

Library Resources | August 25, 2016

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A high school diploma is a great indicator that your students are ready for the next part of their college or career journeys, right? Not quite.

A high school diploma is a great indicator that your students are ready for the next part of their educational or career journeys, right? Not quite. The problem is that many students aren’t graduating high school with the skills needed for success at the next level. Instead, students are “meandering toward graduation,” and are unprepared for both college and a career, according to an analysis of transcripts from the High School Longitudinal Study published by the Education Trust.

Consider two statistics from the Education Trust analysis:

  • A mere 8 percent of high school graduates completed a full college- and career-prep curriculum; and
  • Nearly 50 percent of high school graduates did not complete either a college- or career-preparation curriculum.

The good news is that students can improve their college and career readiness skills and get on a more direct path to success. With the new school year imminent, it’s time to start on the right foot and help students stop meandering and get onto a more focused and direct path to success.

So, what can you do as a high school administrator or educator to help your students be successful in college, career and beyond? You can encourage them to explore careers in which they might be interested and to build academic knowledge through skill-building exercises that support those career choices. This will give them knowledge about what is required for their chosen career paths and keep them on track academically to achieve the needed basic skills whether they are college- or career-bound.

Delve into online learning platforms, such as PrepSTEP™ for High Schools, to see how they can help supplement your schools’ efforts to improve student readiness for college and career. Direct paths to college and career success are all about learning in the classroom and taking advantage of supplemental resources outside the classroom to reinforce knowledge and skills. Students can make a major difference in their preparedness in just an hour or two after school and on the weekends supplementing their regular schoolwork with online resources that can be accessed anytime. Look for a variety of resources offering realistic practice, guided tutorials, e-books, and flashcards to build skills in math, science and English language arts.

Are you trying to get students ready for a standardized test? They will need to have practice tests and tutorials for the SAT®, ACT®, and AP® exams. In order to get a glimpse at potential career paths and build needed workplace skills, students should explore facts on different careers and take courses to build workplace skills such as time management and email etiquette. They should also, according to the Education Trust’s study, work to master a combination of “academic content knowledge, cognitive strategies, learning skills, and specialized content knowledge.”

Each student’s journey is different, and there is something for everyone to help them prepare for success in their specific paths to college and career after high school.

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